NEW YORK - According to a report released today by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), New York State experienced a slight increase in the number of reported hate crimes last year.
The Hate Crime in New York State 2010 Annual Reportoffers is a comprehensive, statewide look at reported hate crime incidents and arrests associated with those incidents. A total of 699 hate crime incidents were reported to police across the state last year, as compared to 683 in 2009, an increase of 2 percent.
In 2010, more hate crimes targeted individuals: 460 reported incidents as compared with 359 the prior year. That increase was primarily driven by an uptick in reported hate crimes involving lower-level assaults and threats; these incidents increased from 136 in 2009 to 212 last year.
Meanwhile, bias-motivated property crimes decreased, from 324 in 2009 to 239 reported last year. There were fewer hate crimes incidents involving destruction, damage and vandalism: 221 last year as compared to 303 in 2009.
Despite the increase in reported hate crimes, these incidents represent a tiny fraction of the state’s overall reported crime, which has been on the decline over the past two decades.
“While the volume of these incidents is low, one reported hate crime is too many. Bias-motivated crimes tear at the fabric of a civil society: they are designed to intimidate not only an individual, but an entire community,” DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said. “By working in partnership with police departments and sheriff’s offices to ensure accurate reporting of hate crimes, DCJS can provide lawmakers and law enforcement with good data that allows them to formulate policies and strategies to combat these crimes.”
Over the past two years, DCJS has worked in partnership with police departments and sheriff’s offices across the state to improve the quality of information available on hate crime incidents. Reported hate crimes by agency: 2006 through 2010.
Reporting procedures for hate crimes were improved in 2009, and last year, staff members from law enforcement agencies who handle crime reporting were trained on those new procedures. DCJS also has sponsored nine trainings on identifying and investigating hate crimes; officers from nearly 100 agencies across the state have attended the trainings.
New York State has a hate crime model policy that agencies can adopt as a best practice for responding to, and investigating, these incidents. In addition, police departments and sheriff’s offices accredited through the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, which is administered by DCJS, are now required to have a policy outlining their agency’s response to hate crimes. This new requirement took effect last month; there are currently 136 accredited agencies statewide that must comply with this mandate by the end of the year. Any agency seeking accreditation would have to meet this new requirement as well.
The Hate Crime in New York State 2010 Annual Report was compiled by the DCJS Office of Justice Research and Performance from data submitted by local and state police and sheriff’s offices and the state Office of Court Administration. The report also includes details about offenders, such as their age, gender and race/ethnicity, as well as incident and arrest statistics by county.
• New York City’s five counties – Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond – accounted for half of all reported hate crimes last year.
• A total of 350 hate crimes were reported in New York City in 2010, an increase of 27 percent over the previous year.
• The remaining 57 counties in the state saw a 14 percent decrease in reported hate crimes in 2010: 337 last year as compared to 394 in 2009.
• Five counties – Erie, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester – accounted for 63 percent of hate crimes reported outside of New York City.
• Of the 460 reported crimes against persons statewide, simple assault and intimidation were the most common offenses (377 of 460 incidents, or 82 percent).
• Of the 239 reported crimes against property across the state, destruction, damage or vandalism was the most common offense (221 of 239 incidents, or 92 percent).
• Consistent with prior years, reported hate crimes in New York State most often targeted Jews, blacks, gay men and Hispanics. There were, however, fewer anti-Jewish and anti-black crimes reported last year as compared to 2009: a total of 358 (220 anti-Jewish, 138 anti-black) vs. 395 (251 anti-Jewish, 144 anti-black).
• Bias-motivated attacks against gay men and Hispanics increased: there were 114 anti-gay male hate crimes reported in 2010, as compared to 82 the prior year. Anti-Hispanic hate crimes totaled 58 last year, as compared to 44 in 2009.
• Hate crimes against Muslims also increased, with 29 incidents reported in 2010, as compared to 11 the year before and eight in 2008.
• The gender of 500 offenders was known. The vast majority of them – 86 percent – were male.
• Among the 473 offenders whose race/ethnicity known, 40 percent were white, 38 percent were black and 16 percent were Hispanic.
• Among the 345 offenders whose age was known, 61 percent were less than 25 years old.
• A total of 263 arrests on hate crime charges were reported last year. Nearly three-quarters of all individuals arrested in 2010 faced harassment, aggravated harassment or assault charges.